25 Jan 1937

R.t Hon. M. J. Savage at the Titahi Bay transmitter opening, 1937

From Sounds Historical, 11:55 am on 25 January 1937

A brief history of Radio New Zealand's Titahi Bay transmitter site near Wellington. The building and tower were opened in 1937.

Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage delivers a speech at the opening of the 2YA transmitter in Wellington in 1937. He talks about the historical significance of radio technology and the role that radio will have New Zealand's future.


“I think, ladies and gentlemen that I should join Professor Shelley in thanking all those who have been responsible for bringing broadcasting in New Zealand to the present stage. It is for us to carry on the work where they left it down.

Now, looking over the past we find that 1937 is the centenary of the invention of the Morse telegraph, which has played such a wonderful part in world affairs during the life times of so many who are still with us; and radio broadcasting is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary agencies of modern times.

Radio will soon be as necessary for the mind of an active citizen as water is for the human body and will be laid on to every home in a similar way. It is the instrument par excellence for unifying the thought of mankind and making possible a real democracy, for training men and women to consider different opinions, and so developing that thoughtful tolerance upon which peace and democracy are based.

While the chief broadcasting stations are owned and controlled by the state, as in the case of New Zealand, vested interests are not likely to be given preference over the common welfare.

Nor there is no space limits can be set for broadcasting, it scorns national boundaries and conquers space so easily that in sympathetic hands it will do much to remove international misunderstanding and other human barriers to human peace. We in NZ are anxious to listen to the voices and messages of the peoples of other nations, we are also anxious that they should hear our voices and messages, and we propose to plan accordingly.

In a few minutes time the great possibilities of radio will be illustrated by an address which will be delivered at Geneva by New Zealand’s Minister of Finance, the honourable Walter Nash, this address will be relayed in NZ. As a means of publicity, radio stands in a class by itself. It delivers messages as between citizens and nations, just as they are spoken, and for that alone we should be truly thankful. The New Zealand broadcasting service is gradually becoming the information bureaux of the dominion.”Nga Taonga official LOGO from Aug

Historic audio supplied by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Find out more about the history of Titahi Bay transmitter site on the Porirua Council website.

There is also more information about the Titahi Bay transmitter on wikipedia.